Though Krantz has utilized vocals in his music before - most notably on Krantz Carlock Lefebvre - on Howie 61 Krantz pushes this aspect of his artistry a step further by incorporating vocal content in his music in a manner that is more complete and tightly integrated than anything he has done in the past. “I’m very excited about this record.” says Krantz. “It’s another step in a direction that I’ve been making since Long To Be Loose really; Long To Be Loose was an instrumental version of this record. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get words into my music for the longest time, and it took so much trial and error just to get to the point where I could use just a few words on a song, and have it feel integrated with the music.
Gary Willis, one of the world’s leading bassists, has delivered his fifth album Larger Than Life—a delicious collection of fusion-funk for the twenty-first century. Joining Willis on this set of twelve tracks are Gergo Borlai on drums, long-time Tribal Tech band mate Scott Kinsey on keyboards, Steve Tavaglione on saxes and EWI, Claudia Bardagi on voice and Llibert Fortuny on tenor sax and voice.
Fusion isn't as plentiful as it was back in the 1970s, which was the golden age of fusion just as the '30s and early '40s were the golden age of swing and the mid- to late '40s and '50s were the golden age of bop. But noteworthy fusion can still be found if you know where to look for it, and Gary Husband's Dirty and Beautiful, Vol. 1 is an example of noteworthy 21st century fusion. An impressive cast of fusion icons joins the British keyboardist/drummer/composer on this 2010 release, including guitarists Allan Holdsworth and John McLaughlin and keyboardist Jan Hammer; guitarist Robin Trower, who is best known for hard rock and blues-rock, is also on board.
“Playing and working with the same musicians in a band is a living process which unfolds as time goes by,” reflects guitarist, composer, and bandleader John McLaughlin when considering the release of his latest album, Black Light – the third studio album to feature his band, the 4th Dimension. Available via Abstract Logix on September 18, 2015, Black Light finds the relentlessly inquisitive, exploratory McLaughlin continuing to uncover new melodic and rhythmic pathways with the same fearless zeal that has made him one of modern music’s most admired and influential figures. And, in the 4th Dimension – drummer/vocalist Ranjit Barot, keyboardist/drummer Gary Husband, and bassist Étienne M’Bappé – McLaughlin has gathered a trio of fellow travelers with the collective discipline, technical ability, musicianship, and imagination to support, enhance, and enrich McLaughlin’s challengingly expansive new material and methods.
Oliver Nelson's follow-up to his classic Blues & The Abstract Truth session for Impulse – and like that one, a tremendous little album – filled with deep tones and wonderful colors in sound! The group here's a bit larger than before – an ensemble that includes Phil Woods on alto, Ben Webster on tenor, Thad Jones on trumpet, Pepper Adams on baritone, Roger Kellaway on piano, Richard Davis on bass, and Grady Tate on drums. The album includes some superb original compositions by Nelson – just the kind of overlooked jazz numbers that make the set great – and as with most of his arrangements from the time, there's a perfect balance between group force and intimate solo space! Titles include "The Critic's Choice", "Blues & The Abstract Truth", "One For Bob", and 2 versions of Dave Brubeck's "Theme From Mr. Broadway".
Ever since guitarist John McLaughlin formed the 4th Dimension—his first electric fusion band in a decade—fans have been hoping he'd dig a little further into his back catalog. The wait is over with The Boston Record, a live album recorded in 2013 at Boston's Berklee College of Music. This isn't 4th Dimension's first live album, though it is the first to feature the seven year-old group's current configuration. Ranjit Barot, first heard with McLaughlin on Floating Point (Abstract Logix, 2009), replaced drummer Mark Mondesir on Now Here This (Abstract Logix, 2013), and is as outrageously virtuosic as ever; the equally impressive bassist Etienne Mbappe is back too, as is serious double-threat keyboardist/drummer Gary Husband.
With 2010's superb Beat the Devil's Tattoo, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club found a balance between their muscular, fuzzed-out noise rock and rootsy if no less punk-inspired take on American blues and country. The trio, now featuring singer/bassist Robert Levon Been, singer/guitarist Peter Hayes, and drummer Leah Shapiro (who joined for Devil's Tattoo), seemed to have matured into a fully realized version of its younger self. BRMC's seventh studio album, 2013's Specter at the Feast, takes this musical maturation even further, as the band delves into a moody, sustained, and long-form dream pop aesthetic. Much of this introspection is most likely inspired by the loss of Robert Been's father, the Call frontman Michael Been, who suffered a heart attack and died backstage at the 2010 Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium.